Every Role is Challenging, Says Flora Saini

Every Role is Challenging, Says Flora Saini  - Sakshi Post

Let’s start off with a basic question? When did you first realize there was an actor in you?

Answer - I don’t think I ever had that realisation that I want to be an actor I think I was literally thrown into it and when you are thrown into the sea you learn how to swim more like that coz I have always said I was a fat child in school never thought I would ever be into acting coz nobody from my family is connected with this profession but here I am and I think destiny takes you where it needs to take you so there was no realisation as such it just happened by chance work kept on coming and yes a little bit of luck god had been very very kind that I kept getting work possibilities would have been that I would have never got an opportunity of becoming an actor or gotten an opportunity but wouldn’t have sustained but the fact that my career has lasted almost 2 decades really means that God had a plan.

You’ve acted in some of the most popular films, and web series. Which role according to you was the most challenging?

Answer - I think every role is challenging but if I had to pinpoint I think I will have to say Stree and Gandi Baat both of them were very challenging in their own respective terms Stree was very challenging in an industry which is driven by beauty and everybody wanting to look beautiful and where you get your next job only coz you look beautiful to choose a role which required me to look horribly ugly that was a challenge but it was fun….and throughout the shooting of the film Stree I was suspended in the air I was not walking and I had no dialogues so to be able to get a title role in a film which was partially experimental and did so well where I actually had no dialogues… and I had to look ugly. The other one is Gandi Baat coz as I said I was a fat child in school…coz I think ppl who are fat it’s deep-seeded in their mind that they will forever be fat…when I look back at my earlier films I thought I was thin but when now I look back I say to myself that I was not at all thin I was very fat….So I think Gandi baat was really pushing the envelope for me as a person and God been kind as it just worked….I never thought it would work and I was really conscious of the way I looked it was very challenging ppl think she must be very bold and all but I think every actor to be able to play different roles and different stories everyone has its own flavour and it takes a lot of guts to be sexy coz it could Fail also and you could end up looking bad too but you have to take that chance and trust the makers to make you look good.

Gandi Baat in particular has a massive following amongst the youth. It breaks stereotypes and brings out the raunchiest of Indian fantasies. 
Answer - Yes it does and to be able to crack that to be able to look sexy without looking vulgar I think that either you have it or you don’t and I don’t take the entire credit I think it’s also the makers as to how they shot coz everyone has their mind as an actor I don’t have the liberty of calling shots on the sets and say to say that I would do only this much and not the other part coz the story is in the directors head and the only credit that I take Home every day is when my director is happy with what they want me to do on screen but yes Gandi Baat had a massive fan following amongst youth it breaks stereotypes and the best part about Gandi Baat in our season our stories had msgs, in the end, they were not just raunchy stories and not created for titillation but they had some msg in the end which I think attracted me the most to do the story.

Nagesh Kukunoor is known for his sensible treatment of women in films, how was not working with him? What did you learn from him as an actor? 

Answer - Nagesh sir is a dream to work with. He is known for his sensible treatment of women in his films. Also, he is known to make films. I think he is a school of acting in himself coz he tells you not to act, I have worked on many projects with Nagesh sir it started with Lakshmi, Dhanak, City of Dreams season 1 and 2, one short film I think we have been constantly working together, he is a dream to work with, such a gentleman such a treat to work with so much to learn coz his sensibilities are so different and working with him is like you are at home, you will be so well taken care of I love working with him. Nagesh sir and Elahe Hiptoola ma’am are the best teams to be working with amazing fun and amazing energy on set. They are just lovely ppl and a different school of acting that you get to learn so much. 

What did I learn from him as an actor? 
Answer - I was habitual of working more in south films where everything is a little OTT also when you are from the north of India and you don’t know the language and when you mentally know that you don’t know the language so your hands and expressions talk more to cover up it just happens naturally so when I did Lakshmi first when I first auditioned for Lakshmi one thing that we learned in the readings were why are you acting with your voice and Nagesh sir is so remarkable coz he listens he will put his headphones on even when you shooting and he listens to how you say your dialogue coz if you saying with ease so naturally your expressions would also be natural and at ease, the minute you start emoting acting with your voice means you are overacting so he really tamed my acting seriously and I really owe him a lot and thank you for giving me so many numerous chances and numerous characters which ppl remember. Even if it is small ppl still remember my roles in Dhanak and Lakshmi, so widely distinct hence I am really thankful to Nagesh Sir and Elahe Hiptoola ma’am for showing so much trust on me

Inside Edge Part 2 was nominated for Best Drama series at the 46th International Emmy Awards. Could you tell us how exciting it was for you on hearing the news? 
Answer - It was amazing we never thought I don’t think that the team also ever thought that Emmy’s would be possible and to be competing with money heist was amazing and it was just an eye-opener that we are competing with world cinema it’s so beautiful and the whole web space has bought the world so closer to each other is simply amazing Inside Edge season 1 and 2 again I would say are one of the most memorable parts of my life. In Fact, we still have Inside edge season 1 and 2 wassup group the bond inside edge team shares with each other is just amazing we are so connected with one another that the entire group is so well connected and I am really blessed to be working with Karan Anshuman and Gurmeet sir and of course excel media Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani the team is full of a league of distinguished gentlemen that’s what I would like to call them. You won’t believe but on our sets everywhere you would see these little pamphlets making it a woman work safe area where do you see that, that pamphlets that this is a woman work safe area and the way they look after their ppl it’s amazing like if you have never worked with this team before you are missing something they are just sweetest hearts and I can go on and on. I have so much respect for Karan and Gurmeet sir.

You are known for being friendly with your fans on social media; do you find motivation in staying connected with your fans?

Answer - I won’t exist without my fans coz I still remember when Stree happened I was not that active on social media plus no one knew me in the Hindi film industry. But when Stree happened, ppl were like who is this Stree, or oh my god she is the Stree of the hit film Stree and all of that happened post the release of the film. I used to reply coz I was grateful my life has been a journey of ups and downs there was a phase in my life which was so dark I really had to fight the norms of the industry to actually get my career back on track after facing the whole domestic violence thing but when Stree happened I was so grateful to ppl who were writing to me who were searching for me and used to say that you have done an amazing job as a chudail. So I was replying to everybody and then there was thing one comment which I had saved its screenshot which said that it’s so ironic that the chudail of the film Stree is replying to everyone and I have never forgotten that and I would say again without my fans I am nothing and I find the motivation to love I think i have craved this position that I am on, I craved it, I wished for it for so long I am so eternally grateful and anyone who sends me love deserves to be acknowledged.

We hear a lot of stories regarding casting calls, and how women are mistreated by some of the men in top places. Have you ever been in a spot like that Flora?

Answer - Well I think there are good and bad ppl in every industry and not just my industry and how you conduct yourself no matter which industry you are in totally depends on you but again as I have spoken about Karan sir, Nagesh sir, excel entertainment the stories that I am telling you so there are good ppl also who exist too and sometimes you need to meet the bad ppl before you can learn to appreciate the good ppl so much more I have had ppl ask me things but it’s how you conduct yourself. That route might most probably get you one film but if you are not hard working you don’t have luck if you are not humble if you are not talented enough you won’t get anything else and also would you be happy sleeping with yourself I would also like to tell girls out there that there is so much of work happening out there, this thing was made applicable before the whole OTT came into play but I think things have changed a lot post-METOO, post the whole OTT webspace opening up, there is so much work happening you will definitely get a lot of work, you will also get offers wherein some ppl still try to act smart but I think you should be smarter in today’s day and age, especially after the METOO movement and know that if you are talented enough nobody can stop you from growing and becoming successful. Work won’t come from only one place. There are a lot of good ppl too in the industry.

Looking back at your career, is there anything that you regret? 

Answer - I regret making wrong love choices with someone who happened to be toxic as well and also happened to be from the industry that pushed me back I really feel that in our profession one needs to be focused and love can wait and if you are falling in love pls allow only good love into your life don’t allow draining energies of anyone into your life…I would have saved those two years in between. I could have saved myself from getting into a lot of pain…looking back from where I am today I think I am in a much happier place. God has been really kind and I am grateful for everything, the lows and highs.

Do you think you’ve gotten the recognition that you deserve?

Answer - Given my life the low phase I just told you about… I have completed 2 decades of my career…also, I would say I have self-sabotaged coz I chose love I chose the wrong ppl over my work and that took me off track and start all from zero.

What advice would you give to the young actors, especially women entering the industry?

Answer - Well I would say this is the best time to get into the industry there is so much work happening, pls be strong and know that every action of yours is going to inspire or help a lot of other women who are following your steps and where I stand today I have become very careful about everything I say or do coz there are lot of impressionable minds who look up to you and pls don’t give in to anybody's pressure shine your own light and know that nobody can steal away from you what's in your destiny if it’s meant for you even if it’s 7 seas away it will come to your belief, do good things, think positive again there are phases in each and everyone’s life good bad, no work phase, too much work phase everything happens pls believe in yourself and don’t let anyone take away the credit of your talent from you and make you feel that someone else had given you work, it’s only and only coz of your own talent That you have got work.

Finally, what is Flora doing next? What’s in store?

Answer - There are 2 series of MX that I have already shot for they are in post-production as of now. There is cyber vaar which is coming out soon, another series for Netflix which we all are waiting for hopefully should be out by next year. We have already shot for it so yes good stuff.

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